According to The Heart Foundation, heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, but thanks to a recent study in stem cell therapy, these numbers may start to drop sooner than we thought.
The study shows that stem cells, coming from bone marrow, are able to bring significant relief to patients with heart failure. The clinical study was presented on April 4th, at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago; it consisted in giving 60 patients that have suffered from heart failure, an injection of the therapeutic substance to their heart. The rates of survival, death and further complications were compared to those of 66 other patients, who received a placebo injection containing regular salted water.
Results and reactions
After injecting the 126 patients, the research team waited for a year. The results displayed that 4% of the patients that received the stem cell injection passed away and 52% had eventually suffered from heart failure. An 8% of the patients who received the placebo had passed away and 82% suffered subsequent cardiac events.
The final result was that those that received the stem cell injection suffered a 37% decrease in cardiac events when compared to the ones that received the placebo.
The research team is optimistic about the results, as this is the first trial of cell therapy that is able to display a clear improvement in the condition of patients suffering from heart failure. But as stated by heart disease specialists, it is necessary to obtain more long-term data in order to successfully assert that stem cell therapy should be applied in procedures and treatments involving heart failure, such as heart transplant and valve replacement.
Dr. Amit Patel, the author of the study, has stated that in any case, the results seem to be promising and that it is an important breakthrough in the area of stem cell therapy; it shows that it can really work in improving the lives of the patients suffering from heart failure.